Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Diane Abbott: Nationalise to end Rail Chaos

It would cost nothing to bring back train operations into public hands. The Government would have two options: either it would not renew the franchises when they expire or, as the companies got into financial difficulties, they could be taken over. Additionally private-sector train operators receive a huge direct subsidy from the Government.

This is just subsidising their profits. It would be cheaper and in the public interest to operate the trains directly. The current mess doesn’t serve the general public, the taxpayer or the rail commuter. The Labour Party that I would lead would start listening to the public for the first time in a long time. On the railways, as on other issues, I would introduce policies that made sense instead of running scared of big-money interests.

You can read the whole of Labour leadership hopeful Diane Abbott’s great Sunday Express article here. What a disgrace that none of the other candidates supports renationalisation.

PS: If there's anyone out there who is still not convinced about renationalising the railways, please read this.


Mr. Piccolo said...

Great post, Mr. Clark.

Most people don't like neoliberalism when it hits them in the pocketbook. In my own hometown, our parking meters were recently privatized and the rates have gone through the roof. Even the right-wingers I know hate the new private ownership because they know they are being gouged.

If more left-wingers used "kitchen table" arguments like Diane Abbott seems to be doing, I think more people who traditionally vote for right-wing parties would jump off the neoliberal bandwagon.

People who run small businesses are a great example. Explain how under neoliberal policies big corporate chains, with the help of their cronies in politics, run small businesses into the ground. Explain how public ownership can reduce costs and make it easier to start your own business without having to pay exorbitant utility bills to fatten the wallets of private executives.

I don't think the Left will get anywhere if people still believe the stereotype that only university students and Bohemians hold left-wing positions (not that there is anything necessarily wrong with students or Bohemians).

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Czarny Kot said...

Good article.

I didn't know much about Diane Abbot before her leadership campaign, apart from that she was on some programme with Portillo that I never watched, but the more I see and hear, the more I like.

She would get my vote. Sadly, she doesn't seem to have a chance.

DBC Reed said...

A genuine contest (of ideas) for Labour leadership: Andy Burnham is exploring Land Value Tax;on the other hand Diane Abbott has rail renationalisation.( Of course the ideal way of running a nationalised railway is by taxing the inflated land values near popular stations and along commuter lines,practically everywhere in fact.)
But frankly I amazed to see some good old-fashioned policies being given an airing.

Anonymous said...

Renationalisation is the way to go...theyre doing it in latin america..and its proving both popular and successsful with the people.


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Anonymous said...

Swimming with the investment sharks:
Dont expect either of britains branches of the one party political system to nationalise anytime soon....

'British official calls for further deregulation by Japan

Sunday 12th September, 05:07 AM JST


A visiting minister of state at Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office has called on Japan to deregulate its economy further so as to attract more investments from Britain. Jeremy Browne said it takes British firms more time and money to enter the Japanese market because of numerous barriers, especially in areas involving air transport and medical equipment businesses.

He also encouraged Japanese companies to seize on the yen’s recent surge against other major currencies to boost investments in Britain, saying the country’s environment as an investment destination is fine.

Ie You let us invest in your and you can invest in us...

Democracy? or Rule by investors?